Yesterday was the first live webinar I’ve given since coming out of hospital, and also the first time I’ve had a brush in my hands since then too. I’m not sure it was a good idea to do my first painting for a while live, but actually the webinar went pretty well.
This one was about the colour of shadows again, but I was going into more detail about the actual the pigments I used to get the colour of the shadows right.
I’ll give you a clue: they are the same ones I used to paint the lights. Why? Because the hue of an object remains (largely) the same from light to shadow.
If you don’t have time to watch the video of the webinar below (it’s quite long) here are the main points I covered:
- I used the same tube pigments for the shadows as I did for the lights on each object. This is because the hue remains constant from light to shadow on an object, only the value and the chroma really change much – which is why painting a shadow the complement of the light area doesn’t work!
- I painted the whole study with only four pigments (apart form black and white). You really don’t need a lot of pigments on your palette with a simple subject like this, because the hue is the same in the light and the shadow
- The cast shadows on the ground are all the same colour. That’s because, in colour terms, the cast shadow belongs to the surface it is cast onto not to the object that’s casting it. The hue of the ground in this study is a yellow-orange. That means the hue of the cast shadows are a yellow-orange too – the same yellow-orange, just a lower value and chroma. Why? Because the hue remains the same across the surface of an object from light to shadow
Now, of course there are things that can affect the hue of the shadows, like reflected light. And in fact, in this study, there is some reflected light from the orange bouncing into the shadow side of the lemon. So there, the hue moves towards orange. The chroma also rises a little.
But the value hardly changes at all, and that’s the part people usually get wrong. And situations like that are pretty rare, easily overstated, and best approached by ignoring them first them making small alterations to get them right once the cast shadow is working well.
Here’s the whole video of the study being painted from start to finish:
Best wishes and thanks for reading (and watching!)
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